New data has revealed that a council in Lancashire raked in more than £2,000 in cash from public toilet charges during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wyre Borough Council, which covers areas including Poulton, Fleetwood, Thornton-Cleveleys and Garstang, charges 30p per visit to their public toilets, and during lockdown and the wider course of the pandemic, amassed £2,091 in total from people needing to spend a penny in their facilities.

Wyre Estuary Country Park, a rural riverside park next to the River Wyre, made the most money from its public toilets, totalling £1,455.55 for this single location alone.

The dataset, compiled by UK merchant service provider, Paymentsense, revealed how much consumers have coughed up to use public toilets during Covid.

During the pandemic, shopping centres and some buildings had to close their toilets to the public due to hygiene concerns, which led to people being forced to pay for council-owned toilets whenever they needed the loo while out and about.

Paymentsense analysed the public toilets around the UK to find out which councils kept theirs open during the pandemic and how much was made from each.

The top ten money-making public toilets in the UK, between March 2020 and March 2021 are as follows:

  • Cambridge, £3,736, cash
  • Scarborough, £2,287.99, cash and card payment
  • Wyre District, £2,091.15, cash
  • Perth & Kinross, £1,985.40, cash
  • Arun District, £1.775.14, cash
  • Loughborough, £1,221, cash
  • Witney, £878.55, cash
  • Bedford, £309, cash
  • Rugby £156.40, cash
  • Plymouth, £134.05, cash and contactless

Cambridge councils made £3,736 from public toilet charges during the pandemic, more than any other area on the list, with each public toilet charging 20p per use.

Second on the list was Scarborough Borough Council, which let individuals pay to visit the loo with cash and card payments, earning them £2,287 during the pandemic.

According to UK merchant service provider, Paymentsense, only 15 per cent of public toilets accept contactless payments, and with the UK still dealing with the pandemic, the firm believes there's an important discussion to be had around moving to contactless payments for public toilets.

The only two councils on the list to accept contactless payments were Scarborough Borough Council and Plymouth City Council.

Head of Customer Insights at Paymentsense, Jon Knott, said: “Coronavirus has undoubtedly forced change in our lives.

"As more businesses refuse cash as a precaution against Covid-19, it makes perfect sense that the use of contactless cards should be rolled out across public toilets as well.

"With more and more of us flocking to green spaces – especially those of us in cities – without access to gardens, there is a need to make toilets more accessible.

"We’ve seen less and less young people carrying cash, so coin-only facilities are not in-line with our financial choices.

"Places like Plymouth City Council and Scarborough Borough Council have transitioned to offering the option of contactless and cash payments to support the change of the public carrying less cash during the pandemic.

"With the pandemic ongoing, it seems that contactless toilets may be here sooner than we thought and in many ways a necessity.”